(Originally writen December 16, 2020)
God created us for great purpose, and lots of times in order to reach that purpose we go through trials in our lives. Some of those trials are sad, some are lonely, some are devastating, some are painful and we can feel angry, frustrated, depressed, and other unpleasant emotions, but I believe the default emotion is supposed to be Joy.
The God I know and serve, from what I know about him, wants us to operate out of love and live with happiness. We love what makes us happy and happiness creates love. God's word says in 1 Corinthians 16:14 "Let Everything You Do Be Done in Love" and he also tells us in Proverbs 4:23 "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it."
I believe to experience default Joy we have to be connected to God and the purpose he created us for.
We cannot seek our Joy from other people - People will disappoint us both intentionally and unintentionally.
We cannot seek Joy from substance abuse, as soon as the substance leaves our system, so does the "Joy". We cannot seek our Joy from wealth or possessions, wealth isn't guaranteed and we cannot hold on to possessions forever, but to experience true Joy comes from relationship with God.
As a child Joy wasn't the default emotion from me, more like a temporary state of emotion. Sure, I found things funny and laughed, but once the laughter stopped it was right back to depression and anxiety. Sure, I enjoyed gifts from loved ones, but once the gift was opened and used the Joy ended. I remember in high school, I was a senior, I wrote that my dream in life was to be happy. I said I had never truly been happy before and that's what I really wanted in life. My dream came true when I was baptized and born again about 4-5 years later. Once I formed my own relationship with God and started living for him I began to finally experience true happiness and live in joy. I still have trials that make me upset or sad, but Joy is my default.
I say all of this to say, that God intended us to live lives that we love and are happy with. If you're going through a tough trial right now, just know that Joy is in your future. In the month of miracles, I pray that your holiday season is filled with plenty of it. In Jesus's name, Amen